Network Administrator Salary: Skills and Certifications to Maximize It

Network administrators have one of the most vital jobs in tech. As the definition of ‘network’ continues to evolve, these technologists must master everything from cloud-based infrastructure to security. Learning certain network administration skills (and earning certain certifications) can greatly impact the size of a network administrator salary.

According to Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, the median salary for a system/network administrator is $74,469, but can approach the six-figure range with the right combination of skills, experience and education. Over the past 12 months, employers have posted 109,594 open network administrator jobs, and the average time to fill an open position is 40 days, indicating a strong level of demand. And demand, as we all know, can translate into a markedly higher network administrator salary.

(According to the most recent Dice Tech Salary Report, the average systems administrator/sysadmin salary is $88,642; database administrators earn an average of $111,362, and network engineers pull down $93,373. So clearly there’s a broad range of potential earnings for technologists who work on tech stacks.)

Unlocking a higher salary as a network administrator hinges on earning in-demand certifications and skills. Based on an analysis of job postings, here are the most-requested certifications for network administrator positions:

And here’s a breakdown of the most in-demand network administrator skills:

If you’re interested in a network administrator job, make sure your resume and application materials list all those certifications and skills you’ve mastered, along with professional projects you’ve completed (and challenges you’ve overcome).    

Your projects and challenges will also become a key element in any network-administrator job interview. Make sure you can describe not only your technical abilities, but also your “soft skills” such as communication and empathy—those are vital when working with stakeholders throughout an organization. It’s always helpful to describe how you helped a tech stack evolve (such as a transition from on-premises to the cloud) and/or how you overcame a crisis (such as a network failing at a critical moment).